Commissioners in Orange County, Florida, have approved $10million (€8.8million) in funding towards a Pulse Museum and memorial. The project will commemorate the lives lost at LGBTI nightclub, Pulse, in June 2016.
The approved funding will come through hotel tax revenue. Orange County commissioners unanimously agreed the payments Tuesday. They will be spread over three years.
Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse nightclub and founder of onePULSE Foundation, welcomed the news.
She said afterwards the museum and memorial will be historic landmarks, and hence deserving of funding from the tourism tax.
‘We are not the first tragedy in our country. You don’t go to 9/11 to think it’s a tourist attraction. You go there to make pilgrimage and pay our respect and to bear witness, and that’s exactly what the Pulse sites will be.’
Gunman Omar Mateen attacked Pulse nightclub on 12 June 2016. The LGBTI club in Orlando was hosting one of its regular Latin nights. In total, 49 people were killed and 53 people were injured – predominantly LGBTI. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting by a sole gunman in US history.
Mateen was shot and killed in a stand-off with police.
The OnePULSE Foundation tweeted about news of the funding.
‘We are grateful to have been awarded Tourism Development Tax funding by @OrangeCoFL Board of County Commissioners for land acquisition & design for the #Pulse Museum. Thank you to our community for making this possible.’
The funding will go towards the acquisition of land and the designing of the museum and memorial. Further funding will be needed to see the projects through to completion.
Nine potential sites have been earmarked as locations for the museum and memorial.
An interim memorial opened in May. It has been visited by over 41,000 people since that time, according the One Pulse Foundation.